Many of our readers are expressing forms of compassion fatigue. The words in letters we are receiving show not simple frustration, but despair or rage. They do not contain much in the “in between.”
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible‘!” – Audrey Hepburn
Those of us that advocate for wild places and wild things have experienced a particularly frustrating time as our interest has been steam rolled in the last two years. We have not just had to deal with the usual minimization; we have all experienced calculated moves to deny our existence in favor of big interests, bullies and profit lines.
Yet true advocacy itself is still possible. The reasons we advocate still exist.
I am receiving so many emails that use the word “impossible.” It might feel “impossible” in the moment the emails are typed. Yet the act of someone simply typing an email to me, shows that advocacy is “possible.” Recognizing the threats, creating a message in the written word, looking for answers and a way to take action; each set of hands on a keyboard is an “I’m possible.” Don’t lose that thought, it holds power.
Advocacy is not rocket science; identify a threat, dissect it, remove the drama, identify the action, take it and then repeat. Many times you have to repeat that cycle to achieve one objective and then repeat the cycle to protect that objective.
I like to point out the “you will never win, it’s impossible” fight to gain a humane handling policy and the case to gain access to roundups.
I do that so you can see those cases were not even attempted by the “million dollar orgs,” they were attempted by a handful of people that supported the “range to court run”… again and again. I do not point that out for “pats on the back,” I point it out to show you that progress is possible. It does not require a million likes on facebook or a big bank account. YOU are part of progress no matter how small you feel. (heck, I was homeless. Powerlessness is a fiction. You have power.)
For years I was held back and denied access. When I could wrangle access for years I watched babies hotshot, horses run through barbed wire, babies collapse, chopper hit a horse… every single day.
This week several anniversaries of that fight hit the calendar. It is such a simple example of how “impossible” became possible. A lot of new people will see incidents on social media and think that those incidents happen all the time, they used to.
There was progress, we need more progress, that progress is possible.
Identify what it is that you want to change. Then tailor that action to that specific change. Do not add the thousand other items into that action. Create distinct actions. Focus, learn, act, repeat and we can do this.
The fastest way to lose it (the ability to progress) is to fail to recognize that it actually exists and how it happened. Over the last two years the politics of public lands, and the short memory of the public aided by social media, has dragged much back in time. We need to push back just to hold that ground in the same way it was gained; identify the threat, dissect the threat, remove the drama, take action. The third step is the hardest of all and has become the greatest threat to any progress. Drama is manipulation of the issues and a key component of the strategies of our opposition, they count on it. (read here to see how that “drama” has been used against advocacy since Velma Johnston died)
In the next few days we will be sending out an action item list.
We are not adding the action items here. When articles get longer than a few paragraphs we often get emails asking to make them shorter.
READ is not a dirty word, it’s essential to the ability to say “I’m possible” as an advocate.
Each action item we send will have an article. The articles will frame why we ask you to take the action. We advise, we beg, we plead, that you read the article prior to taking the action. Each article you read will give you knowledge to discern the accuracy and intention of other things you will see in the coming weeks. Then remember you have power, take action.
We are entering a phase now where all of the things you have put into the letters I am receiving, the “impossible” things, all become possible to change.
Chin up. It’s gonna be bumpy… but say it out loud “I’m possible and the changes we need are too.”
The fight begins on the range. We need your help to build a frontline long before a chopper flies.
Categories: Wild Horse Education